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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versão On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versão impressa ISSN 1025-9848


SHAKWANE, Simangele. Fear of dying dirty: Intimate care encounters during COVID-19 pandemic in South African context. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2023, vol.28, pp.1-9. ISSN 2071-9736.

BACKGROUND: Physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand hygiene were encouraged during the pandemic of COVID-19. However, personal hygiene procedures for patients admitted to hospitals, such as assisted baths, oral care and elimination, were neglected AIM: This study aimed to describe intimate care and touch experiences for patients admitted to the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown SETTING: This study was conducted in the medical and surgical units of two hospitals in Gauteng province METHODS: A generic qualitative approach was used to explore and describe the patients' intimate care and touch experiences during the COVID-19 hard lockdown. In-patient individuals above 18 years were purposively sampled. Twelve patients aged between 28 and 60 years participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using thematic analysis RESULTS: Three central themes emerged from the data: (1) Keeping away from the body, (2) Who is touching my body? and (3) Fear of dying dirty - a sense of losing bodily dignity. The participants felt that the nurses were trying to avoid them, as they were seen as potential carriers of the COVID-19 pandemic CONCLUSION: The cleanliness of a patient's body gives them a sense of self-respect and dignity. Nurses should find ways to ensure that patients receive quality intimate care and touch, even during situations such as the pandemic CONTRIBUTION: Patients' religious or cultural beliefs and anxieties about dying dirty should be acknowledged and respected in nursing care to provide quality bodily care for all patients

Palavras-chave : admission; death and dying; COVID-19 pandemic; culture; religion; intimate care; patient; touch.

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